Virtual reality continues to be high up on the agenda for those in the mobile market, an aspect which seems unlikely to be changing anytime soon. In fact, yesterday when Samsung announced the launch of their twin Galaxy S7 devices, they also confirmed that anyone pre-ordering either the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge between Feb 23 and March 18, can expect to receive a free Samsung Gear VR headset as well. So in the immediate future virtual reality is certainly going to end up in the hands of a number of Galaxy S7 owners soon enough.
In terms of the wider virtual reality landscape, it now looks as though the platform is going to be greatly improved in the near-term future. SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) is one of the big names in virtual reality and the company is currently showcasing their latest achievement, bringing eye tracking functionality to the mobile VR space. At MWC this week, SMI has announced that they have successfully ported over eye tracking to none other than the Samsung Gear VR, a world first for mobile VR.
On the face of it, the use of eye tracking in a mobile-focused virtual reality product will offer a much improved VR experience. Further adding to their accomplishment of porting over to mobile VR, SMI has also confirmed that they have successfully integrated foveated rendering into the mobile version of the platform as well. This will be of particular importance to mobile VR as foveated rendering allows for a more human way to view content in a virtual reality space. Human gaze typically darts from point to point and this means in the VR realm, everything has to be of a higher resolution to account for the darting gaze of the user and this is where foveated rendering can offer a more accurate and concentrated experience. One which matches up with gaze detection while also reducing the VR rendering load. The other added benefit of foveated rendering is that in time, it will likely provide a much more interactive VR experience. With gaze detectors being more accurately able to detect where the user is looking, this will in turn offer a greater ability of control. You can check out some of the improvements that will be on offer with the use of SMI’s eye tracking by watching the video below.